Thinking Anglicans

Julian Henderson named as new Bishop of Blackburn

From Downing Street:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Julian Tudor Henderson, MA, Archdeacon of Dorking, for election as Bishop of Blackburn in succession to the Right Reverend Nicholas Stewart Reade, BA, on his resignation on the 31st October 2012…

From the Diocese of Blackburn:

From the Diocese of Guildford:

From the Church Times:

…Unlike his two predecessors – the Rt Revd Nicholas Reade, who retired on 31 October; and the Rt Revd Alan Chesters – Archdeacon Henderson is willing to ordain women as priests. He said on Friday that he was “in favour of women serving as bishops”, although he voted against the draft women bishops Measure in November ( News, 23 November).

Archdeacon Henderson said in a statement issued by Church House: “Let me be clear, I am in favour of women serving as bishops and will want to introduce a change in the current diocesan pattern by ordaining women as deacons and priests.

“But I hope my vote at General Synod last November will be a reassurance to those opposed to this development, that I want to be a figure of unity on this matter and will ensure there is an honoured place for both positions within the mainstream of the Church of England. Might Blackburn be a model for the rest of the Church of England!”

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John
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John

Great comments by incoming bish. I certainly think both (a) supporters of WO and women bishops and (b) those who oppose these things should BOTH be able to live with this.

Jean Mayland
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Jean Mayland

Well – half a step in the right direction!

Commentator
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Commentator

I suspect we have another man here. A supposedly acceptable face of evangelicalism but still anti-gay.

Benedict
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Benedict

Not a half step in the right direction but an appointment honouring the current attempts by General Synod to ensure that both those who dissent from as well as those who agree to the ordination of women are loyal Anglicans. It would seem the new Bishop of Blackburn is what we might call a true Liberal who, whilst in favour of women bishops, does not wish to see the marginalisation of those with whom he differs. A good Christian too it appears.

Father Ron Smith
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A ‘good Christian’ maybe. But perhaps a little inconsistent on his deep-down thoughts about women as fellow bearers of God’s image – and deserving of equal status in the Church.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Despite what the new bishop–and congratulations to him–may say, there should be no “honoured place within the mainstream” for discrimination.

Locuste Iste
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Locuste Iste

@Jeremy – “there should be no “honoured place within the mainstream” for discrimination.”
What a silly comment. As an Anglican priest friend of mine says, even if the bishop lays his hands on a woman, it doesn’t take. Jesus himself discriminates!

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Jesus ordained no one. He was a Jew – remember? Get real!

How will the new bishop both ordain and not-ordain women ? How will the diocese both have and not-have ordained women ?

Geoff
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“As an Anglican priest friend of mine says, even if the bishop lays his hands on a woman, it doesn’t take.” (Locus Iste)

What a crude christological and sacramental theology – nothing to do with Jesus at all.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“It doesn’t take.”

Kind of speaks for itself doesn’t it? It is not very humble, it’s speaking for the Jesus who elevated women tremendously. It also assumes that each and every woman called by God into ministry is delusional.

It quite clearly demonstrates the privileged white, straight, male dominance (thought the white part has moved along somewhat) that has brought peace, prosperity, and joy to every inch of the planet.

Anne
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Anne

Locuste Iste: “As an Anglican priest friend of mine says, even if the bishop lays his hands on a woman, it doesn’t take.”

I suppose you could try telling that to my congregation, but they seem to think that it has “taken” fairly effectively, to judge by the affirmation they give me. I suppose I should tell them that if they feel absolved, blessed or fed by God through my ministry they are sadly mistaken…

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Ordination of women “doesn’t take”?

Does this sort of theology really need to be “valued” and “accepted”?

Love the sinner. Hate the sin of discrimination.

Helen
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Helen

Locus Iste’s comment encapsulates the immaturity, arrogance and spiritual confusion exhibited by a small minority of Anglo Catholics. I suppose s/he still expects an “honoured place” as a “loyal Anglican”….

Simon Sarmiento
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This thread is not about the ordination of women, as such. Further comments about that will not be published. This is about Blackburn diocese and its new bishop.

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

Despite some misgivings as to why Archdeacon Henderson voted against the legislation at General Synod, I am inclined to regard this appointment as a good thing. I hope that it, together with the revolt over Whitby, may mark a watershed, and that Chichester may turn out to be the last diocesan appointed who will not ordain women. It really will not do anymore to require women priests to swear obedience to a bishop who does not recognise their orders as valid. The same applies to those suffragans who, like Whitby, have delegated responsibility for defined episcopal areas. The three PEVs,… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

This won’t square. We cannot on one thread discuss the provisions needed to keep the CoE together and to have women bishops,and on the other hope that no bishop will ever be consecrated who doesn’t ordain women. That ordination doesn’t “take” is precisely what sacramental assurance means and the sudden surprise about that here is astonishing. If we are serious about what we’ve been saying throughout this debate, we should welcome the appointment of an evangelical bishop who will not ordain women. He might not be rigid enough for some of the evangelicals in this country if he does not… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

Erika, I think we may be talking at cross purposes. I was not suggesting that NO non-ordaining bishop be appointed, only no non-ordaining diocesan bishop. I would be quite happy to see a non-ordaining evangelical appointed to a suffragan see (but not, please not, Lewes!) if it helps conservative evangelicals. For such a strong proponent of WO as you have shown yourself to be in this forum, I am surprised that you do not take more seriously my point about it not being right to require women priests to swear obedience to a bishop who does not recognise the validity… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Malcolm, I hadn’t aimed my comment at you, it was really a response to reading all the comments on this thread. I tend to agree with you that having to swear obedience to a bishop who does not recognise your orders is one of the many Alice in Wonderland consequences that come with trying to have 2 different theologies about women priests and bishops in the CoE. Only having PEVs might be a solution but it is one that brings with it as many problems as it solves as it would really be a Third Province scheme by another name… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Much as I detest all anti-WO theology, one Evangelical and one Anglo-Catholic bishop who will not ordain women is the minimum of what we will need to make any provisions work.” – Erika Baker – I find this response confusing. I you (and the Church) really believe that a Woman can be called by God to be a Bishop in the Church, what reason should there be for the Church to afford the luxury of such a Bishop being denied the authority of a Bishop by any if its members. A two-tier form of episcopacy is not what the Church… Read more »

primroseleague
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primroseleague

“We are not yet become Congregationalists – on this, or any other doctrinal issue. Or have we?” Legally no – bluntly, yes, and a long time ago. You’ve got grape juice and memorials at one end, reservation, exposition and adoration of the blessed sacrament at the other. Prayers of intercession and the angelus v the 39 Articles, and people in the middle trying to believe bits of both. ConEvos ignoring their diocesan, Trad ACs wanting one one they regard as valid, overseas ordinations of both for over 100 years now (and occuring again in Sheffield). MOR Evo, AffCaff – the… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ron, the CoE has spent the last 20 years with special arrangements for those who cannot support women priests. It has promised to continue to do so. This is not negotiable. Whatever we may think of it, this is the baseline. And so I can have very firm views about the ordination of women and I can see all kinds of weaknesses in the opposing arguments. I can see that some people are really grappling with this while others are plain boorishly misogynistic. And I can see that there are many women who have suffered appalling discrimination and I can… Read more »

RosalindR
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RosalindR

Erika – what I am hearing on the ground from every ordained woman I have met in the last two months- clergy who have been trying to work within this theologically dubious arrangement for up to 20 years, who are not activists, who just want to get on with their calling and their job, who have no desire to be bishops or anything other than effective parish priests – is that the only legislation that they can live with, without considering leaving their ministry, is simple legislation to enable women to be bishops with no legal(sic – this is not… Read more »

primroseleague
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primroseleague

Hi Erika, a constructive proposal that could work: Keep the PEVs and make ANY parish that disagrees with women’s ministry affiliate with them – Ie, no further diocesans that will not ordain women, therefore, every bishop is at a stroke second class, because male and female diocesans have to delegate oversight, and those to whom it is delegated have shunted themselves into a non-diocesan cul-de-sac – which on the face of it gets round treating male and female bishops differently. It’s a de facto 3rd province, but it isn’t one legally or structurally, so cannot easily be separated off. Parishes… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

What Primroseleague suggests makes sense to me. Would that work for the people you have been talking to, Rosalind?
Are there any insurmountable flaws in it from anyone else’s perspective?

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

It is a thought, primroseleague, thank you.

Something does need to happen / give.

I think RosalindR’s point is both important to heed ; and encouraging.

People need to be objecting- standing up and being counted.

Lindsay Southern
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Lindsay Southern

I’m one of those to whom RosalindR refers. Since November I have had a profound change of heart and whilst I supported provision before, I have come to see that in fact it is a non starter, theologically, ecclesiologically and pastorally. I am now struggling to remain in a church that claims its mission is to challenge the unjust structures of society, but internally seems intent on reinforcing them. My presence within this community feels depressingly like collusion. I promised myself I would avoid making any rash decisions for 12months following November and I am hoping against hope that the… Read more »

RosalindR
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RosalindR

There are concerns with primroseleague’s suggestion – the underlying one being that what it is describing is actually a separate church, and that it entrenches in the law of the c of e the contradiction that women simultaneously are and are not ordained. This is discussed in much more detail than a comment column can allow in various responses to the consultation. But it also does not recognise that in most/many of the “dissenting” congregations, there are quite a lot of people who actually do not have a problem with ordained women, or might even want to experience their ministry,… Read more »

Helen
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Helen

What happens to any of these suggested provisions when a woman bishop is in line for Canterbury or York? It’s not inconceivable within 10-20 years. In no other field would it be thought acceptable not to recognise the qualifications of one’s colleagues on the grounds of their gender. It is high time the “theological convictions” used to justify the exclusion of women from senior posts were robustly challenged. Thought is free, but there is no reason whatsoever why the organisation of the national church should be dictated by these particular minorities. I should have thought that a code of practice… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

I’ve been thinking about primroseleague’s suggestion. I don’t see it as being any more of a separate church than what we have had since 1994. It would in fact be an eventual and natural consequence of my earlier suggestion of not appointing any more diocesan bishops who won’t ordain women. Where I perhaps take issue with it is the idea of forcing dissenting parishes to affiliate with the PEV – I would rather just leave it that any parish requiring to have the services of a non-ordaining bishop would need to petition for extended care, as at present. What needs… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Malcolm, isn’t the Bishop of Rochester’s example precisely one of the big stumbling blocks for evangelicals we heard about? They’re not concerned about sacramental assurance but about the requirement that women should not have authority over men that women bishops delegating authority was unacceptable? Lindsay, I so feel for you. I am emotionally in the same position as regards lgbt equality. It’s one thing to know in our heads that a radical solution isn’t possible but quite another to know even more truly in our hearts that any compromise is actually deeply wrong. My only consolation is that other side… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Erika, whilst profoundly respecting your motivation for asking for a ‘workable compromise’ which entails providing ‘alternate oversight’ for those who refuse on grounds of conscience to recognise the veracity of Women as Bishops (or clergy for that matter) within the Church of England; I seriously question the ecclesial integrity of a Church that allows even a minority of its members to discount the ministry of any of Her bishops – that is, if Women are ever allowed to become bishops in the C. of E. There are other Church bodies in the U.K. that do not allow women to be… Read more »

primroseleague
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primroseleague

Malcolm,

not a lot to disagree with there – I still think the solution is going to come down to the PEVs. The only thing that makes me slightly uneasy is your “no cross-diocese border events for dissenters” proposal.

Given the sort of numbers we’re talking about, ie not many, this strikes me as hitting out at the support structures that all clergy need – rather than feeling like an embattled beleaguered minority, might it not leave them feeling like embattled beleaguered individuals?

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ron,
I think you’re missing the point.
This has nothing to do with my views.
This is about what the facts of CoE is currently debating.
Whether anyone thinks that no compromises should be made with those who don’t accept women priests is irrelevant.
There WILL be compromises. This is the stated CoE position. And this is the framework in which we are having this conversation.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

“There WILL be compromises. This is the stated CoE position.”

That’s the current CofE waffle, during this Synod.

The next Synod–and the current Parliament–will have other views.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Jeremy, I would be really surprised if that were the case. None of the position papers presented in the last few days say that no provisions should be made. This is just not part of the debate. And Parliament has no say in internal provisions, Parliament is only interested in non discriminatory legislation. Which is what many have proposed: A simple Measure that women can be bishops on equal terms with men. The rest is then down to the provision agreement. There has been no-one in this whole debate who has said that those who cannot accept women priests should… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

Erika, I can’t see why what + Rochester is doing would upset conservative evangelicals, although I concede that if a female diocesan were to do the same thing, that would upset them. But I don’t recall that any evangelical parishes have found it necessary to pass Res C. I do look at things from a catholic perspective, and I don’t understand the headship argument at all, except to the extent that those speakers at GS who compared it to the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father in the Trinity were being heretical, as was stated by several learned… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

primroseleague, Yes, what I suggested would deprive dissenting clergy of some of their existing support structure, and that is regrettable but still (in my view) better than letting the PEVs drive an ever greater wedge between dissenters (clergy and people) and the rest of the church. The best diocesans provide support to all their clergy, even those who disagree with them on this issue, and the PEV would still be available for private support. It’s the ganging together that does the damage. I say this having for 27 years been a member of a traditionalist catholic parish, hoping to argue… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“There has been no-one in this whole debate who has said that those who cannot accept women priests should simply take a running jump. That is not going to happen.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday,

Oh indeed Erika! And have you already informed the Commission of your opinion on this? Or is this just a premonition on your part? The whole ethos of ‘stamped, sealed and delivered’ is the very problem that bedevils the Church of England. We worry about the Roman Magisterium, but is the Church of England really very different

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Malcolm, evangelicals have not needed Res C any more than Anglo-Catholics actually needed it. They are only concerned that no woman teaches them and has authority over men. As there is currently not a single female bishop, there is no need for any alternative episcopal oversight for them. And as all male bishops are ‘validly’ ordained and consecrated there is no question of sacramental assurance either. Res C was always a completely different game. But women bishops will change all that, and the evangelical argument is that if women have no authority over men, then women bishops cannot be given… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ron
“Oh indeed Erika! And have you already informed the Commission of your opinion on this? Or is this just a premonition on your part?”

If not even the most radical groups like WATCH advocate a no provisions solution, where is it suddenly to come from?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“all male bishops are ‘validly’ ordained and consecrated there is no question of sacramental assurance either.” – Erika – That’s all very well for you to say, Erika; but is that what ‘most’ Evangelicals – who are opposed to the ordination of women really feel? Would they approve of male bishops who ordain females? Erika, I’m sad to be engaged in dispute with you here. however, I find your ready accommodation to the reality of enshrined injustice toward women in the Church of England – a step too far. It truly would lead to a ‘divided Church’ – even more… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ron, the “valid” ordination argument is not an evangelical one but an Anglo-Catholic one. It is being made by those who believe that female ordination “doesn’t take” and that the sacraments would be invalid. Evangelicals accept female ordination as valid, they just believe it goes against God’s expressed will. And I don’t agree with any of it. I have no argument with you at all. But the CoE is determined to keep all 3 groups united within its framework and to do that, it will have to find a way to keep those in the fold who cannot accept women… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

Erika, you have said several times in this thread that no-one but no-one is suggesting no provision. That may be true up to a point but, as I read it, lots of people (including WATCH) are proposing no LEGAL provision, i.e. a single clause measure with any provision being made locally on the basis of trust, thus avoiding enshrining discrimination within the legislation. WATCH went out of its way to complain that the Commission had identified a single-clause measure as one of the extreme options. They felt that it should be considered as a viable and mainstream option, pointing out… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Malcolm, I couldn’t agree more!
Discrimination enshrined in law would be intolerable.
That does not preclude CoE internal provisions to accommodate those who cannot cope.

I suspect – and maybe you can put me right here – that the only provisions that would actually stand a chance of being voted through the houses of GS are as close to being legally watertight as is possible to make them.

But I suspect it might at least be easier to dissolve them once the rest of the church has joined the 21 century.